ONE TREE HILL: Creator Mark Schwahn Spills on Haley's Pregnancy, Brooke's Wedding and What He'll Do Differently in Season 8 - Give Me My Remote : Give Me My Remote

ONE TREE HILL: Creator Mark Schwahn Spills on Haley’s Pregnancy, Brooke’s Wedding and What He’ll Do Differently in Season 8

September 13, 2010 by  

Earlier this summer, I spent some time talking with ONE TREE HILL mastermind Mark Schwahn about what he was looking forward to doing with his beloved series as it enters year 8. Core characters, romance, a wedding and a baby were among the topics covered.

Of course the possible return of Chad Michael Murray and Hilarie Burton came up as well, since this could very well be the last season of OTH and longtime fans would love to see the characters of Lucas and Peyton once again.

Read on to hear what Schwahn had to say about that and so much more… including the possibly fatal shooting of Haley’s sister Quinn (Shantel Van Santen) and Clay (Robert Buckley) last spring…

I know you’re excited about this upcoming season of the show. What can you tell me about your intentions for it?
We’ve had a lot of wonderful recurring [characters] on ONE TREE HILL, but I think that our core group is where we will focus our attentions in this next season. It used to be that we saw a lot of different characters and they became familiar faces in the world, but they didn’t necessarily have big story arcs that were serialized and multi-episodic. They were, you know, contained. Or they were appendages to somebody else’s story and I just think that that’s a better formula for us. So next season, we’ll probably focus our attentions more on our main group of regulars.

You’ll still have guest stars though, of course.
Yes, we have wonderful guest stars and we’ll still do that, but I don’t know if everyone will have a contained arc that goes on for six episodes where it’s like, okay, now let’s check in on this storyline. I just feel like we have this really tried and true group of regulars and that’s who our audience really believes in and cares for. And, you know, I think we found some new faces this past year that really worked and that’s great and we’ll obviously see them. But I just think we’ll be able to tell better stories if we spend a little more time on fewer [arcs].

Stories like Haley’s pregnancy?
Yes, I really believe in Haley’s pregnancy, so that’s not something I would pull the rug out from under early in the season. Not to say that there wouldn’t be complications, but it’s not like we’re going to find out it’s a dream or that she miscarried over the summer. I think the fans are excited about them having another kid and that’s the direction I plan to go in… though never say never. You know, if she’s gonna lose her sister, she’s gonna need that baby!

[Laughs] That’s terrible!

Terrible! Not to say that it didn’t cross my mind. A baby is great, but it’s not consolation for off’ing Quinn, so don’t do it!
By the way, my first phone call would be from Shantel [saying] I read online [that you’re killing me off!].

I’m glad we can joke about this. But yes, there are a lot of places to go this year.
Yeah, also Brooke’s wedding. I think that Brooke and Julian were a romantic cornerstone for us last year, even though they struggled. I like them together and I like when they’re in love.

I think the audience likes it too.
You know, the other thing I would sneak to you about this next season is that last year, every character on our show was famous or rich. They were all celebrities, and even if they remain so this year, I don’t think that should be the focus of the story. I think that we have these 20-something characters and in this day and age, with the economy being what it is, when you’re asking somebody to invest every week in your show, I think people want to see stories that reflect their lives. I hear a lot of fans say how real our show is and I sometimes chuckle at that because it’s so heightened, there’s not that much that’s “real” about it. But at its core, the emotions of the stories and the values and the things that the characters are dealing with are usually relevant and I think it should remain that way. So this next season, we’re going to tell more stories that are relatable to our audience.

Yeah, I spoke to James Lafferty a little bit ago and he wasn’t sure if Nathan would remain in the NBA or if he’d be looking at starting a new career.
Yeah, well, it’s something to think about, because even with him still in the NBA, I think there are stories you can tell about a young guy and a young father whose wife is pregnant that an audience member can relate to more than stories about playing professional basketball. I think that’s when we’re at our best. You know, an episode like “I and Love and You” last year — that James directed and I wrote, that was the episode that revealed that Clay’s wife Sarah was dead and at the end she was sort of asking Clay to let go of her and move on — that’s a show that’s so strong and powerful, it’s a really good hour of television. Because people watching it can understand the idea of loss or being in love with someone and not being able to be with them. Those kinds of things are great stories to tell. So I think the show will live there more.

I’m assuming you’ll spend most of the season building to the big wedding for Brooke and Julian, which is of course very romantic.
Yeah, I’m not sure where we’ll put it. I don’t know if we’d plant that at the end of the season or the middle. Not knowing where our end is right now [since we don’t yet have a full season order from the network], we’ll just have to wait and see. We are planning to have a wedding, but on ONE TREE HILL that doesn’t really matter! A lot of stuff could go wrong on the way. But it would be nice to see Brooke Davis happy, wouldn’t it?

Indeed. Well, I look forward to seeing how it all plays out. One last thing, if the network does give you a heads up and tells you that the last stretch of episodes will be this season and you start writing towards that, would you consider having Chad Michael Murray and Hilarie Burton back for at least one last appearance?
Absolutely. I never say never. You know, I don’t know what [their schedules are like], Hilarie’s got a baby now and she’s really happy and Chad’s doing his thing, so sometimes the economics of what you want don’t work out. Or, people just aren’t interested. But if we get to a Brooke wedding or Haley has another baby, then it would feel appropriate to me to see those friendly faces again.

What do you think, kids?

Would you like to see Lucas and Peyton on ONE TREE HILL this season?

And do you think Quinn and Clay will survive the shooting?

I’m thinking some sort of coma followed by a long, challenging recovery is in order…


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11 Responses to “ONE TREE HILL: Creator Mark Schwahn Spills on Haley’s Pregnancy, Brooke’s Wedding and What He’ll Do Differently in Season 8”

  1. Beatrice Margeaux on September 14th, 2010 1:57 pm

    OTH is my favorite show of all time, no contest. Nathan and Haley’s relationship, even with it’s ups and downs, is something to be admired and I want that to be my life. I would love to see Peyton and Lucas come back to the show even if only for a few episodes just so that we can see where their lives have taken them since the last time we saw them. I really want Clay and Quinn to make it out alive of the shooting. I really grew to like their characters even though I am so devoted to the core 5 characters. Their relationship was going in a great direction and I was interested in following its’ growth. I can’t wait until the season premiere tonight. Even though I am going to miss it because I have to work…. Thank God for Hulu haha.

  2. Rose on October 31st, 2010 11:39 pm

    I must confess I was sad when Chad and Hilarie left. I loved seeing the love and happiness between Lucas and Peyton along with daughters arrival.
    I sincerely hope they can come back for even one episode. I must beg you Mark though, please don’t write them any drama. Keep them blissfully happy and in love. The adversities that Paeyton and Lucas survived to get to where they are now gives us all a small dream of finding that special love one day. It would be devastating to many if you were to write in a third party or death of either of them. I have enjoyed watching OTH and shall be an avid fan for as long it is runninng and then some (My box sets travel with me).

  3. amy dunkley on November 4th, 2010 11:30 am

    i dont want quinn and clay to die i absolutely loved their characters, i do miss chad and hilary but i think the characters of clay and quinn were so great.
    i dont think it would be fair to haley to off one of her sisters when shes going through a traumatic time of loosing her mother and i dont think she should loose the baby either i want to see a nice happy ending for haley espeacially if this is going to be the last season.
    i’d also like to see brooke happy aswell i want her and julian to stay together get married and maybe even find out in the end that she’s pregnant that would be a brilliant twist to the end.

  4. Bettie McDaniel on November 19th, 2010 1:40 pm

    Please tell me you will be on another season. 8 seasons is not enough .
    Bring Lucas and Peyton back to answer the riddle of where they have been as well as : What happened to Deb – Karen -Andy

    Did Karen and Andy marry and where did they settle?

  5. Hollie on January 6th, 2011 8:54 am

    I would love for there to be more seasons after 8. Would love lucas and Peyton to come back having all the gang back together but please keep them together and happy. PLase plase bring them back for a few episodes. Also for haley and Nathan to end happy with their children. would also be nice to see Karen and deb back.

  6. Zoee Samantha on January 26th, 2011 9:35 pm

    I Love OTH. I really hope there will be more than 8 seasons, due to my obsession. i really want quinn and clay to be ok after the shooting, after haley loosing her mother, would be horrible for her to go through loosing her sister too. i also hope you will make brooke happy and maybe even end up with her getting pregnant , like a twist to the story. dont stop making this show, it is amazing.

  7. Marita on March 20th, 2011 8:19 pm

    I hope Lucas and Peyton die.. Seriously, I hate them.. Don’t ever wanna see their whiny faces again…. PUKE

  8. Marita on March 20th, 2011 8:21 pm

    The day I found out they weren’t in the show, was one of the happiest days of my life 🙂

  9. Marita on March 20th, 2011 8:22 pm

    The day I found out they weren’t in the show ANYMORE***

  10. vanessa on March 27th, 2011 8:02 pm

    one tree hill is the best show in the world.
    alot of upset fans if it doesnt continue to season 9
    great work on the production.
    please keep it going!

  11. Megan on March 29th, 2012 10:40 am

    I love one tree hill and i honestly think a season 10 for one tree hill would be perfect!!!!!!!!!!!! I mean theres even petition sites for a season 10 everyone wants one please make ittttttttt. need ideas too just ask hahaha.